It’s 2019, and there’s no place for the F word in the workplace. Folders are an inconspicuous drain on productivity in many organizations, creating content dumping grounds that hold back your salesforce. Sure, there was a time when folders were the best solution for organizing your sales content, but those days are over. Like the fax machine and the PalmPilot, we’ll always have a soft spot for folders, but it’s time to upgrade to the newer model.

Why are we picking on content folders? Sales is a fast-paced industry, and it might seem like there are way more pressing issues facing your organization than folders. How much damage could they really be doing? Think of it this way: those seemingly inconsequential folders house content that is foundational to all other aspects of the sales process. Your salesforce is only as good as the content that drives their performance. Does your content empower your reps or hold them back?

How you manage your content can make or break the overall success of your salesforce. It’s time to find a better way—here’s how to get organized and take back control of your sales content.

The Problem with Folders

Not sure if you’ve got a problem with how your sales content is organized? Many administrators might not realize what it’s really like for a rep to find what they need when they need it. For example, how many folders do they have to open before finding what they’re looking for? Are you storing different kinds of resources on different platforms? Is content organized with your salesforce in mind? When finding content is too time-consuming, many reps will just skip the process all together.

There are two problems there. First, a CMS is a significant investment for any organization—if your salesforce isn’t engaging with it, that’s wasted money. Second, content is crucial for helping reps stay informed and confident, and empowers them to have better conversations with customers. You might think your content repository is sufficient, but here are three signs that it’s time to make a change:

Out of sight, out of mind

When there’s too much sales content scattered across different platforms, reps get overwhelmed. We’re all creatures of habit, and your sales team is no exception. In response to information overload, reps might skip over most of your content and stick to just a few go-to pieces that they’ll use over and over again. When reps get stuck in a cycle of reusing sales collateral, the majority of your content goes untouched.

Sophomore slump

New hires are often the go-to source in the office for the latest industry news and trends. They’re hungry, eager, and well-informed from weeks of onboarding. But as they get into the swing of the sales process, there’s less time to stay up-to-date and keep learning. Without an easy-to-use CMS to help promote relevant content and continue rep education, new hires struggle to stay informed and keep growing.

Disorganized content

No matter what CMS you’re using, organization is everything. When your sales reps are clicking through folders, is the content organized with them in mind? Every team will think about the organization of content differently. Your marketers might organize content by asset type, while your sellers might prefer to search by stage in the sales cycle. User experience and interface can make or break how often your salesforce engages with your CMS.

A Better Way to Organize Sales Content

All right, the first step is to admit you have a problem. The hard part is over, now it’s about finding a sales CMS with the tools to organize, distribute, and maintain your sales content. Remember, the goal is to do more than just tidy things up—the most successful organizations leverage all kinds of content to help reps grow and get out of their comfort zones. When you’re truly in control of your content, your sellers are regularly turning to sales content tools to have more substantive sales conversations and achieve higher productivity.

What are the key features of a great sales CMS? You’re looking for a platform that can house anything from PDFs to videos and games, distribute to mobile devices, and has a great UX/UI. Custom navigation is key to a great user experience: the best platforms will search within the document or file itself, not just its title. Along with advanced document search, the ability to add custom tags and filter content by categories (like a specific product or persona) makes it easier for reps to browse and search for resources. Finally, instant access even when offline, allows reps to leverage content during sales conversations, leading to better performance and more impactful storytelling.

The Business Benefits of Sales Content Tools

Once your new content management system is in place, prepare to see some positive changes. You might start to see an increase in sales productivity from all the time you’ve saved searching for hard-to-find documents. As you start to promote and assign targeted content, sales reps will become more confident and prepared on an individual level. Plus, having one centralized location for content will encourage alignment between teams, up-to-date resources, and better communication. Some organizations are even taking it a step further and creating dedicated roles for learning and content curation, responding in real-time to the influx of content and gaps in knowledge.

For the modern sales organization, content is more than just a linear Powerpoint presentation or a sales sheet. Your content should be dynamic and flexible, and delivered in a clean, easy-to-use experience for your sales reps. When you’re introducing new enterprise technologies, a fresh, mobile interface helps empower your reps to craft more compelling stories. If you’re looking to bring stories to life for your customers and your salesforce, it’s time to take control and harness the power of your content.